Friday, July 25, 2008

On Ducks and Adopting Edgar

Today I adopted Edgar.

He was a bit expensive but I think he's worth it. For the longest time I have admired the work of Jennifer Murphy and have waited patiently for the right animal to come along. Not to mention what a sucker I am for homemade pincushions...

I also loved this pincushion mouse, but Edgar had to be mine for reasons you'll see in a moment...

This other mouse on a ball of crochet string was one of my all-time faves but I missed out on him. I would have adopted him on-the-spot, no questions asked.

And this herd of ducks lives on in my heart even though I don't physically own them.

That's because one special day in the life of my family, we had a duck party and the ducks who were in attendance wore party hats much like those pictured above.

One day for my son's first Holy Communion, my neighbor and good friend decided to give Jack this baby duck. She had bought her own children ducks for Easter and felt like Jack needed a duck of his own since he loved theirs so much...

Those of you that live on a farm will think that we suburbanites are nuts. I mean, eventually this duck will grow, will need a pond, will poop like crazy and will not be house-trainable... We didn't consider any of that when this beautiful little baby duck entered our household. But my child's love for his duck remains special to this day.

The first hurdle we encountered with our duckling was his loneliness. He was biting at his own feathers and giving himself bald patches. I felt very sorry for him so we asked our neighbor if he could live with their ducks during the day and that's what he did.

As the ducks grew, so did the children's love for them. At the time, the 17-year cicadas were here for the Summer and the ducks loved eating them.

Those ducks followed the kids as they played in the yard. They swam in the swimming pool we had bought them at Target and they ate every slug and cicada the kids could find to feed them.

My son would sit out in the driveway holding that duck until long after the sun had set on a warm Summer night.

When it was time, the kids put the ducks to bed in the pen that my husband had built under our deck. This was to keep them safe from the foxes that live in the woods behind our house.

One day the kids were flying a remote-controlled airplane down our back hill at about dusk. They ran down the hill to get the plane and, of course, the ducks followed. After coming back up the hill, it took them a few minutes to realize that one of the ducks, Butter, was not with them. When they turned around, a fox had Butter's tail in his jaws and was dragging her into the woods. The kids screamed and chased off the fox and spent the next two weeks hunting the fox in our back woods with their stick weapons trying to protect their ducks...Butter was fine and lived for another day.

When it came time to go back to school, all the children had regretfully and tearfully agreed that it was time for the ducks to go live in a big pond. The kids decided to throw a "Good-Bye Ducks" Party complete with games, refreshments and party hats.

The kids spent days planning their party and making the decorations and food.

They even wore duck-appropriate attire...

During the party, there were duck races. The ducks had a hard time finding the finish line so the kids tried to help...

Then it was time to play hide-and-go-seek with the ducks. Jack had learned to carry the ducks in a special duck-hold that kept them from pooping on him.

Jack ran off with his duck, trying to find the best hiding place.

He had one BIG problem. The duck was quacking his head off and wouldn't stay quiet so Jack and his duck were found right away.

That game didn't go quite as the kids had planned since ALL the ducks were quacking in their hiding places. Oh, how we laughed...

All the ducks were awarded medals,

and were given party hats that the kids had made to celebrate the day.

Unfortunately, the time came when we had to take the ducks to their new home.

The kids had approached the owner of a pick-your-own farm that we frequent and the owner said it was OK for the ducks to come live in the pond on her farm.

She talked to the kids for a long time about the dangers to ducks living on a working farm. She explained that her dogs liked nothing better than to wait all day until a duck got too close and they could catch them. The kids were worried but the pond looked like a beautiful home for the ducks so they said OK.

Amid many tears and hugs, the kids put their ducks into the pond and said farewell.

The ducks lived on through the first winter season and through the next Summer and the kids visited them many times while picking strawberries, blueberries and peaches. They disappeared over the second winter but by then the kids were resigned to their fate.

It was a magical time for us, that summer we had the ducks come live with us...

And now you know why I had to adopt Edgar.


fabricluver (Susan) said...

What a great story - thanks for sharing!

Vicky aka stichr said...

I think you will friends for Edgar. I agree, wonderful life moment[s].

Pigtown-Design said...

What a wonderful experience for the children!

Allison Ann Aller said...

This sounds like "Swallows and Amazons", a children's story series by Arthur Ransom, where all is right in the world and the children get to be CHILDREN!
Magical, Susan....

Marty52 said...

What a wonderful story! You definitely need an Edgar in your life.

Chris' Greetings from the Shady Grove said...

What a fabulous story. What fun!

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